DIY Floating Shelves with Picture Hangers

Happy Monday friends! If you get our newsletter, you know that this project was supposed to be up on the blog last week but we had some complications along the way. What exactly happened? Well, we had no idea what we were doing when we started the project! I knew that I wanted to put some floating shelves above the toilet in the guest bathroom. We had no trouble assembling the shelves! The complications were in attaching them to the wall. We’ve solved the problem now and they are nice and sturdy in  the guestroom bathroom and so I am now ready to share the tutorial for our DIY floating shelves.

DIY floating shelves


DIY floating shelves


I can’t say that I decided to do the DIY floating shelves because it would cost me less money to do them. The reason is  because I never looked at their prices. I have no idea what these retail for. I did not look at any tutorials because I knew what I wanted them to look like and they didn’t look very hard, so husbs and I decided to wing it. I only had 3 requirements: They had to look as much like wood beams as possible, had to be sturdy on the wall, BUT, and this is most important, they also had to be easily removable in case I change my mind in a few months (which is very possible). Easy-Peazy!  Well, now looking back it’s easy and for you, it will be easy because we already did the hard thinking for you 🙂

DIY floating shelves


Our beams measure 18″ long, 6 1/2″ wide, 3 1/2″ tall. This tutorial will be based on those measurements. I wish I could look at all of your spaces and customize the tutorial for each of your shelves but I can’t and so I truly hope that you can convert these measurements to your own shelves.

Here is what you will need for this project:

For your convenience, this post contains some affiliate link. Click here to read my full disclosure. 

1.Wood (we have an old shed filled with all sorts of wood so we did not have to buy any)

  • Two 16″, by 5 1/2″, by 1/2″ (the thickness is not as important because they will be hidden but 1/2″ is a good thickness. You don’t want it to be more because it will add unnecessary weight to your shelves. More weight makes it harder to secure to the wall)
  • Two 5 1/2″, by 3 1/2″,  by 1″
  • One 18″, by 3 1/2″, by 1″

2. Stainable Wood Filler

3. Stain

4. Wall anchors

5. Keyhole Hanger

6. Screws

7. Sand paper





Start by arranging your front piece and side pieces together and use a nail gun to attach them together.





Once those are secure, attach your back piece by sliding it inside the 2 end pieces making sure that the back of it is in alignment with the top of the end pieces. Go ahead and use your nail gun to attach this piece as well. Do the same with the other piece.







Now, your shelf should be assembled. The back side is missing and that is just the way we want it. Adding an extra piece will add unnecessary weight to these shelves.





Now, we have to move on to sealing the cracks where the pieces meet and then stain the whole thing. To do this, use your stainable wood putty in the cracks and when it is dried, sand it down to even it out with the surface of the shelf. I used a low grit sand paper because my wood is really rough and I did not want for that area to be extra smooth. It would not fit.







Now, the time came for us to hang them and we thought we could hang them just like a picture frame but the traditional picture holders that you see on the right side in the picture below were not working. At this point, I realized that we have a little floating shelf in our bedroom that I bought at the Salvation Army and that one just hangs like a picture frame. We took it down to find out what kind of hangers it uses and it uses something very similar to the keyhole fasteners below. We went to the store and bought some. We added one on each top back corner of the shelves and  added wall anchors to the walls to match them. They work like a charm!







We ended up drilling clearance holes under where the fasteners are mounted, to make space for the screw heads to fit into them. This can be done easily with a 2″ paddle bit. They are nice and study and I can remove them whenever I want.  I do not plan on putting extremely heavy things on these and so I am not worried about them falling off. There you have it! You can do this project in an afternoon and have lovely rustic shelves for your space!

DIY floating shelves


DIY floating shelves


DIY floating shelves

A little behind the scenes sneak peak. See the camera on the tripod in the mirror? This bathroom is almost done. All I have to do now is paint the vanity (you can see a hint of the oak finish in the second picture below.) I also need to replace the light fixture and maybe add a small piece of art in there in the bathroom and it will be good to go.

DIY floating shelves


DIY floating shelves

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you find this tutorial to be helpful. I always read and respond to your comments so comment away!

If you like it, Pin it!

DIY floating shelves for your apartment

Many blessings,


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30 thoughts on “DIY Floating Shelves with Picture Hangers

    1. Thank you so much Tara. you know how something will look better in pictures than they do in real life? this is not the case here! they really do look good in the bathroom! I love them! Have a good day 🙂

    2. Your shelves are gorgeous, Vanessa.
      I bought one with the key holes attached.
      What a difficult time we had mounting it on the wall ! We placed key holes onto the end of the anchor screws and shelf hung down about an inch. Bummer. So thank you for telling us about using picture hangers!!

  1. Ohhhh! I love these shelves. They are just so lovely and chunky and rustic. I want to put these in my home, trouble is picking where I want to put them. I love them so much I’d want them all over the house. I wonder if I could use this as a faux mantle (we rent)? Do you think it’d be as sturdy if it was longer?

    1. Rochelle, thank you so much! I love the shelves too. I wanted them to be that chunky and rustic. I think they came out well. AS for a faux mantle, I talked to husbs, and we decided that if it would need to be the average size of a mantle, we would be uncomfortable with you using this method because of the amount of weight that would be on the screws. He says that if you could use 3 different joist to attach it to, then that would be a a lot safer but as far as what would be safest, we recommend not having floating shelves but using corbel or some other kind of support. I hope that helps 🙂

  2. I have been wanting to put some floating shelves in my bathroom and in the breakfast nook in my kitchen. I have created a coffee bar and would love to have a couple of floating shelves above it to display mugs and other coffee stuff. Now I just need to convince my husband to make some shelves!

    1. Oh Crystal, if yo could convince him, that’d be great. Honestly, my husband loves these because they are nice and rustic and manly. I hope you get to have them soon 🙂 thank you for stopping by and chatting for a little bit.

  3. These turned out great- I love them! Tim may have another project to add to the list 😉 I especially love how chunky the wood is and all the little dings and gouges in it. (was the wood already that “distressed” and “perfectly rustic” or did you help it along?)

    1. Oh Kari.. It’s you! I love seeing a familiar name here! Makes my heart happy! thank you. The wood was already like that. We found it in our shed…I actually sanded it in a few places. I love how rustic it is. Supper easy. Tim can knock them out in an hour easily…probably a lot faster than that. I’ll have to come visit to see them.

  4. Your shelves look fantastic and add so much to the look of your bathroom! I am about to redo our bathroom and this looks like a project to consider. I have built a wall shelf before but I like the rustic look of these shelves. Beautiful job!

  5. Wow! Your shelves look amazing. I love the wood you have, so lucky to have a barn full to use 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase Party this week.

    1. Thank so much Kathryn, I meant to swing by the party this Monday but I was caught up with something else.. I will check it out 🙂

  6. I love the look of this shelf, and the way it was decorated! I have some blank wall space in the corner of my living room off of the TV, and I think something like this would look great there. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You are welcome Kim. Hey, let me know if you do decide to these shelves or any other shelves. I would love to know 🙂

  7. Well done! Everything is done correctly, with knowledge of the matter. The interior looks great! I even thought at first that it was a piece of wood

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